Pad Priew Wan (Thai Sweet and Sour Chicken)

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Pad priew wan recipe or Thai sweet and sour chicken is a takeout favorite, and now you get to make it in your own kitchen! This easy Thai dish is made with lots of healthy vegetables and your choice of protein, all coated in an irresistibly good sauce.

Top-down view of pad priew wan - Thai sweet and sour chicken stir-fry in a black dish with flowers and banana leaves.

pad priew wan recipe

This sweet sour chicken stir-fry is the latest star of our families weekly dinner rotation.

Tender chicken in a Thai sweet and sour sauce made of ketchup and soy sauce, so good! With a flawless blend of sour and sweet, anything you put in it will come out amazing.

A wooden spatula lifting Thai prad piew wan over a black dish with stir-fried chicken and vegetables in a sweet and sour sauce.

One of the key ingredients is pineapple, its refreshing tropical taste pairs perfectly with the crisp colorful bell peppers, juicy tomatoes, and fresh cucumbers, making every bite crave-worthy.

Close-up of stir-fried sweet and sour chicken with vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, onions, and pineapple.

And here’s the best part: This isn’t just a quick and easy dish, but also low-fat, low-calorie, and packed with healthy ingredients. It’s the perfect summer dish if you ask me.

5 Reasons to try this sweet and sour recipe

  • Restaurant quality: This sweet and sour chicken recipe equals a version you’d get at a restaurant in Thailand.
  • Easy to customize: This pad priew wan recipe can be made into a vegetarian meal, or you can try different versions with pork, beef, and even seafood such as shrimp or squid.
  • Quick and easy: A quick recipe is always good, but a quick and delicious recipe is even better. You might spend more time reading this than cooking!
  • Kids love it: Kids love the taste of sweet and sour, it’s a great way to get them enjoying the veggies.
  • Healthy: This tasty chicken stir-fry is low in carbs, high in protein, filled with vegetables, and low in calories. Additionally, this recipe doesn’t call for cornstarch or deep-frying.
Top-down view of 2 black dishes with pad priew wan - stir-fried vegetables and chicken in a sweet and sour sauce - plus flowers on a banana leaf.

Chinese vs Thai sweet and sour chicken

Asian cuisine has so many unique dishes, and some classics have variations across borders. Sweet and sour chicken is truly a worldwide favorite, and it’s even enjoyed differently in China and Thailand.

Chinese sweet and sour chicken is typically made with chicken that’s coated in batter and then deep-fried. It’s paired with vegetables like bell peppers, onions, and pineapple chunks. The sauce blends vinegar, sugar, and ketchup, sometimes with a few additional ingredients.

Thai sweet and sour chicken, or pad priew wan, omits the bread and fry step. The chicken is directly stir-fried, resulting in a lighter and healthier dish, complementing the chicken’s natural flavors. The Thai sauce sometimes often introduces fish sauce and/or light soy sauce for extra flavor and umami.

Ingredients

For the exact measurements, please scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

Bird's eye view of the recipe ingredients; ketchup, vegetables, garlic, pineapple, flavor seasoning, oyster sauce, chicken, and white sugar.
  • Chicken – Our main source of protein. You can use skinless or skin-on chicken breasts, tenderloin, or any other part that can be cut into thin slices.
  • Oyster sauce – This rich and savory sauce brings umami flavor to Thai food.
  • RosDee flavor seasoning – A popular seasoning ingredient in Thai cuisine, adding extra flavor and a salty touch. If you can’t find RosDee, maggi seasoning or soy sauce can be used, add to taste.
  • White sugar
  • Ketchup – Gives a tangy sweetness. Use tomato ketchup.
  • Pineapple – For the best taste, use fresh pineapple. Canned pineapple chunks are an OK substitute if fresh is not available.
  • Bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers – This selection of vegetables adds crunch, fresh flavors, and color. Feel free to mix it up with other greens like zucchini, carrots, snap peas, cabbage, baby corn, yard long beans, or others.
  • Green onions (spring onions) – Brings a mild onion flavor and a pop of green color. Mostly for garnishing.
  • Garlic – If you’re out of fresh garlic, use garlic powder as a last resort.
  • Oil

One of my personal experiences worth nothing: I’ve worked at several Thai restaurants in Belgium, and I’ve never seen Thai chefs add vinegar to Thai sweet and sour chicken sauce. The tang usually comes from fresh pineapple and tomatoes, this is what I have been taught. Oh, and definitely do not add red food coloring either!

Cooking instructions

Total Time: 10 minutes

  1. Sauté garlic

    Close-up of golden brown fried garlic in a pan.

    Preheat a wok or skillet over medium heat and add oil. Sauté garlic until it turns golden, approximately 20 seconds.

  2. Cook chicken

    Close-up of stir-fried chicken with garlic in a pan.

    Add chicken and cook until it’s fully cooked through.

  3. Add seasonings

    Close-up of stir-fried chicken coated in a sweet and sour sauce.

    Combine oyster sauce, RosDee flavor seasoning, white sugar, and ketchup. Mix well with the chicken. Ensure every piece of chicken is coated with the sauce.

  4. Add vegetables

    Close-up of stir-fried pad priew wan - sweet and sour chicken with vegetables in a pan.

    Add vegetables and stir-fry until they reach your desired level of tenderness, or around 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

How to serve

Serve with steamed rice, like jasmine rice or brown rice. Serve the stir-fry on top of the rice, next to it, or in a separate plate. Drizzle remaining sauce over the top.

Pairing: For a complete Thai meal, start with Thai fish cakes and end with a dessert like enjoy with a Thai dessert like authentic mango sticky rice and a starter of Thai fish cakes.

Garnishing options

  • Fresh herbs: Add freshly chopped cilantro or green onions for extra color and a refreshing flavor.
  • Chilies: Add sliced fresh chili peppers for a spicy flavor.
  • Lime: For a zesty flavor, serve with a wedge of lime on the side.
Close-up of Thai sweet and sour chicken stir-fried with tomatoes, cucumber, pineapple chunks, and onions in a black dish.

How to store

Your prad preow wan leftovers will remain delicious for up to 3 days when stored correctly: Let any leftovers cool to room temperature. Transfer into airtight containers and keep in the refrigerator.

Freezing instructions: Transfer the leftovers to a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze. Thaw in the fridge overnight.

Reheating instructions: Either use the microwave or simply reheat on the stove top in a non-stick pan over low to medium heat until warm.

Fun facts

  • Most Thais don’t routinely order pad priew wan. We generally prefer dishes with a spicier kick. In fact, many Thais would rather have fried chicken accompanied by a spicy or sweet and sour dipping sauce. And to add, my grandparents steer clear of chicken dishes almost entirely!
  • Western “sweet and sour” typically means a thick, red, vinegary sauce found in Chinese-American dishes. This differs greatly from authentic Thai variations.
  • Thai cuisine is incredibly diverse and there are many variations of Thai dishes even in Thailand. The ingredients used in this recipe are common for a traditional Thai sweet and sour stir-fry.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ’s)

What is pad priew wan?

Pad priew wan is a Thai stir-fry dish known as Thai sweet and sour chicken. It consists of juicy chicken stir-fried with vegetables like onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, and pineapple chunks, coated in a flavorful sauce made from ingredients like ketchup, sugar, and fish sauce.

How can I make this dish spicy?

If you’d like a spicy meal, you can add chopped chilies at step 1. Use Thai chilies if your spice level is high, or jalapeños for a mild dish.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

No, but: Gluten-free versions of oyster sauce are available on Amazon. Flavor seasoning: you need to check the packaging for a gluten-free version. Ketchup: double-check the labeling. The remaining ingredients are naturally gluten-free.

How can I make this recipe vegetarian?

To make a vegetarian sweet and sour stir-fry: Replace chicken with a vegetarian alternative like firm tofu or tempeh. Use a vegetarian oyster sauce. Replace flavor seasoning with a vegetarian bouillon. Consider adding more vegetables.

More Thai chicken recipes you’ll love

If you loved reading this pad priew wan recipe, please leave a star rating and/or a comment below!

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 15 min Cook Time 10 min Total Time 25 mins
Servings: 4 Calories: 371

Description

This easy recipe delivers big on flavor. A perfect blend of sweet and sour in every bite!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Sauté garlic

    Preheat a wok or skillet over medium heat and add oil. Sauté garlic until it turns golden, approximately 20 seconds.

  2. Cook chicken

    Add chicken and cook until it’s fully cooked through.

  3. Add seasonings

    Combine oyster sauce, RosDee flavor seasoning, white sugar, and ketchup. Mix well with the chicken. Ensure every piece of chicken is coated with the sauce.

  4. Add vegetables

    Add vegetables and stir-fry until they reach your desired level of tenderness, or around 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 4


Amount Per Serving
Calories 371kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10.7g17%
Saturated Fat 1.8g9%
Total Carbohydrate 36.7g13%
Dietary Fiber 4.5g18%
Sugars 25.1g
Protein 34.1g69%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Note

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • For a spicy meal, add fresh chili peppers.
  • Feel free to add your favorite vegetables, protein, or garnish.
Keywords: pad priew wan, Thai sweet and sour chicken, pad preow wan

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About Author

Praew

I owned my own Thai restaurant and have years of experience in various other Thai restaurants. I've been whipping up classic Thai dishes by my mother's and grandma's side since I was just a little girl. Now I'm sharing my deep-rooted passion with my authentic Thai recipes on this food blog.

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